In Hal’s village all of the 16 year-old boys go through Brotherband training. During Brotherband training the boys are divided into teams and learn skills that will make them successful sailors, warriors and teammates. It’s kind of like basic training in the military and kind of like the TV show Survivor mixed together.
Hal ends up the leader of a team of misfits and outcasts. Each of the boys on Hal’s team have talents but not talents that get any respect. When Hal’s team does better than anyone expected at one of the team challenges they become a target for abuse, bullying and outright cheating. The teams sabotage each other, spy on each other and create alliances to try to get the upper hand. Hal’s team isn’t dumb, or weak or cowardly – they actually DO have what it takes to be respected. Watching the boys and the people around them figure this out is the very best part of this book. How DO you best a bully? These boys figure it out. There is hand to hand fighting and physical tests and mind games and even a little bit of romance.
The Brotherband Chronicles will have more books in the future, this one just gets the adventure started. The author is the guy who wrote The Ranger’s Apprentice. The Brotherband Chronicles is a new set of characters in a difference country…but set in the same time and general area of The Ranger’s Apprentice. I wonder if some of the Ranger characters might pop up down the line. I for one, wouldn’t mind that at all! Author: John Flanagan
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